From the historic trading post of Kjerringøy via Bodø and Lofoten to the whales of Andenes — much of the best that Northern Norway has to offer is packed into this tour.

Salten

This route starts in Kjerringøy, which is a magical place full of history. The tour from Kjerringøy to Bodø follows the outermost coastline, with mountains, forests and beautiful beaches. When the weather is clear, you can see the entire Lofoten Wall too.

Kjerringøy: The biggest and best preserved trading post along the coast of Northern Norway, uniquely well-preserved with piers and outhouses around a main building with silk wall coverings, crystal and plush furnishings. Kjerringøy is well-known as Sirilund in Knut Hamsun's novels and has been a filming location for films and TV productions. Art gallery in Zahlfjøsen and cheese factory.

Ferry: Festvåg–Misten (10 minutes)

Mjelle: Beautiful beach and a popular destination for Bodø residents.

Bodø Golfpark: 18-hole golf course.

  • Bodø: The capital of Nordland, with a population of 50,000, is an active and invigorating maritime town and offers a wide range of cafés, restaurants and shops in a compact centre.
  • Norwegian Aviation Museum: The pioneers of Norwegian aviation, the history of Norwegian aviation since the Second World War and the development of modern aviation in the north — all of this is explained in detail at this family-friendly museum
  • Bodø Cathedral is a modern cathedral dating from 1957.
  • Gamle Salten is a local ship dating from the 1950s. It was built for the coastal route and today offers an atmospheric and nostalgic experience
  • Bodin Church is an ornate stone church dating from around 1200
  • Svenskebyen is an area close to the centre with uniform wooden houses that were built with Swedish assistance after the Second World War
  • Rønvikfjellet: Viewpoint — from here you can see the whole of Bodø and the Lofoten Wall

Ferry: Bodø–Moskenes (3.5 hours). Just a few departures each day and very popular during the summer months. On the way across Vestfjord, you will be able to see Lofoten rising above the horizon like a 100-km (60-mile) long, 1000-m (3000-ft.) high wall, known as the Lofoten Wall.

Distances and traffic information:

  • Bodø–Kjerringøy 42 km (26 miles)/1 hour 15 min
  • Misten–Festvåg ferry: www.torghattennord.no 10 minutes

Lofoten

The E10 passes through Lofoten and most of the attractions are either directly on the road or within a few kilometres of the road. On the seaward side, at Moskenes, the road consists of bridges between the small islands where the fishing villages are clustered along the coast, and the entire length of the road offers uninterrupted views towards the jagged, 1000-metre (3000-ft.) high peaks on the main island of Moskenesøy. Enjoy imposing mountain views across Flakstadøya before passing through the Nappstraum tunnel to reach the gentler green pastures on the northern side of Vestvågøya. The landscape becomes more mountainous again on Austvågøya past Henningsvær and Svolvær.

Moskenes: Ferry pier, Moskenes church dating from 1819.

Å: Take a detour to the end of the road (6 km [3.75 miles], 10 min) past the picturesque fishing village of Tind to Å.

Norwegian Fishing Village Museum: Lofoten cod, the fishing villages, the boats, dried fish — find out about it all here.

Reine: Fishing village situated on several small islands.

Dagmar's Museum of Dolls and Toys is an original collection of toys from through the ages.

Sund: Fishing village. Smeden i Sund (the blacksmith in Sund) is renowned for the cormorants he makes. You will also find Sund Fiskerimuseum (Sund fishing museum) here, with displays from the history of fishing.

Ramberg: Village and centre in Flakstad.

Flakstad Church: Cross-shaped church clad with red-painted wooden panelling dating from 1780, with a characteristic onion dome.

Nusfjord: One of the best preserved fishing villages in Lofoten. Fully restored and situated between rocky knolls and cliffs around a small harbour. Detour from the E10 (6 km (3.75 miles/10 min).

Leknes: The centre of Vestvågøya, a good place to stock up on provisions.

Borg: Lofotr is an 80-metre (260-ft.)-long rebuilt chieftain's house dating from the Viking Age, complete with interior fittings and furnishings, livestock, a boathouse with a Viking ship, and barley fields. The reconstruction is based on archaeological excavations of a chieftain's residence at the site.

Borge Church: Modern church dating from 1987 on the hill above the flat agricultural lands in the heart of Vestvågøya.

Aaland Gård: Goat farm and cheese shop.

Gimsøy: Lofoten golf course is situated in a superb location on the sand dunes next to the sea, and is one of very few links golf courses in Norway. Detour: 12 km (7.5 miles)/15 minutes from Sundklakk on the E10.

Gimsøystraumen bridge: The link between Gimsøya and Austvågøy. Views across to the mountains of Bø in Vesterålen.

"Dusjkabinettet" (the shower cabinet): Vågan municipality's contribution to Artscape Nordland captures the entire Lofoten Wall on its large mirrored surfaces. The installation was created by American artist Dan Graham.

Henningsvær: Picturesque fishing village with historic houses and fish drying racks built on small islands linked by breakwaters beneath the Vågakallen mountain, which measures 942 m (3091 ft.) above sea level. Galleri Lofotens Hus: Paintings from the golden age of the late 1800s.
Engelskmannsbrygga: Ceramists and glass-blowers

Kabelvåg/Storvågan: Lofoten's oldest fishing village, with many historic buildings and a range of sights and attractions:

  • The Lofoten Cathedral: Monumental wooden church dating from 1898, the largest church in Northern Norway.
  • Galleri Espolin: Kåre Espolin Johnson portrayed the fishermen of Lofoten.
  • Lofoten Museum: The Lofoten fishery, the history of the market town of Vågan.
  • Lofotakvariet (Lofoten Aquarium): Fish, seals and otters from the seas around Lofoten.

Svolvær: The capital of Lofoten is situated on a number of islands in a beautiful location. It has an attractive harbour promenade with shops and cafés, and an atmosphere of both town and coast. The tourist information office offers a wide variety of boat trips and other excursions.

  • Nordnorsk Kunstnersentrum (North Norwegian Art Centre) exhibits modern north Norwegian art in its gallery.
  • Svolvær Church, a white brick church dating from 1934, which is visible from far out to sea.
  • Svolværgeita is a rock formation in the mountainside, which can be seen from all over the town.

Sildpollnes Church: A simple chapel situated on a promontory out into Austnesfjord. A popular, much-admired subject for photographs thanks to its wild and dramatic setting among the mountains.

Distances and traffic information:

  • Distance: Moskenes–Svolvær: 128 km (80 miles)/2 hours
  • Ferries: Bodø–Moskenes 3.5 hours/ www.torghattennord.no 

Vesterålen

From the wild and mountainous southern part of Vesterålen, the landscape becomes green and fertile along the Sortlandssundet strait. Andøya in the far north features both enormous marshlands and craggy mountain formations.

Fiskebøl – Melbu: Ferry crossing and views across to Møysalen (1262 m/4140 ft.), the highest mountain in Vesterålen.

Melbu: The town is home to the Norwegian Fishing Industry Museum, which uses enormous herring oil tanks to illustrate the development of the fishing industry during the 20th century. The Melbu hovedgård manor house is a magnificent property dating from the 1800s and today houses the Vesterålen Museum.

Hadsel Church: Octagonal red-painted wooden church dating from 1824, with a polyptych made in Utrecht in 1520. Ancient monument park with burial mounds dating from the Iron Age and a vicarage and garden.

Stokmarknes: At the birthplace of the Hurtigruten you can visit the Hurtigruten Museum with its displays on the history of the Hurtigruten coastal route, as well as the Hurtigruten ship M/S Finnmarken dating from 1956, which is now on land.

Sortland: In the capital of Vesterålen, an art project is underway that is painting the town blue. Both commercial premises and private houses have been painted different shades of blue, with short poems painted on the walls as part of a literature project.

Sortland Bridge: A 948-metre (3110-ft.)-long bridge that opened in 1975 and connects Langøya and Hinnøya, Norway's third-largest and largest islands respectively.

Andøybrua: A 750-metre (2461-ft.)-long bridge opened in 1974, which connects Hinnøya with Andøya. From the top of the bridge, you can enjoy an uninterrupted view across the narrow Risøyrenna strait, a 5 km (3-mile) channel dredged out of the shallow Risøysundet sound to enable the Hurtigruten ships to pass.
Risøyhamn: Town and port of call for the Hurtigruten.

Andøy Museum: Local museum with historic houses and artefacts. A copy of the Skjoldehamn costume, a woollen costume dating from the 1400s, is on display.

Galleri Dick Moonshouwer: Exhibition of art and crafts.

Oksebåsen: Rocket launching site. From here, satellites are launched into space. Displays on the Northern Lights and space flight.

Andenes: Large fishing village with 3000 inhabitants and many historic buildings.

  • Whale safari: Just off the coast at Andenes lies the edge of the continental shelf. This creates ideal conditions for sperm whales, which graze on cephalopods and Greenland halibut.
  • Bird safari: Bleiksøya is a pyramid of a bird mountain out in the sea south of Andenes.
  • Andenes Lighthouse: A 40-metre (130-ft.)-tall steel lighthouse dating from 1859, located in the heart of the town.
  • Polar Museum: Displays on polar sea hunting and on the unique fossil geology of the island of Andøya. An ichthyosaurus fossil is on display at the museum.

Distances and traffic information:

  • Distance: Svolvær–Andenes: 211 km (131 miles)/3.5 hours + ferry crossing
  • Distance: Svolvær–Sortland: 90 km (56 miles)/2 hours + ferry crossing
  • Distance: Sortland–Andenes: 95 km (59 miles)/1.5 hours
  • Ferry crossing Fiskebøl–Melbu: 25 min/timetables: www.boreal.no